Getting From Here to There

I’m answering interview questions this week. I don’t think I’d be giving away too much if I share one of them which I thought was particularly timely.

Q: Could you walk us through your process once you start a painting? How does an idea transition from out-in-the-world to actually being a completed painting?

A: This is a really excellent question. It’s a mystery isn’t it? How is it that we are appearing here with hands and eyes, paint and brushes to stand and make something? To be honest, I don’t know exactly how it works that a piece of art comes to fruition. I do know that it is through a process of small steps and always transcending yourself at each of these steps. From the point of going to the art supply store and buying a big old canvas and allowing that I can make something of it. Trusting that I can. Then the incident of facing the blankness of it and of starting. All of the struggles of painting, pale next to fear of the empty space that we are asking ourselves to fill. Being prepared both mentally and physically to paint is important. It takes stamina and a lot of energy to paint, both physical and mental.

So, I try to be ready. I rest and I make sure I have everything I need to complete the piece at least as I think I’m going to approach it. I always allow, that the direction might change mid-stream so I’m also flexible. I surround myself in the studio with work that I feel has something in common in some way with what I think I’m going to do with the piece on the easel, so I have some visual information from which to inspire me. It might be something as simple as a color combination or a rough sketch, but it’s enough to get me going. I decide on what media is appropriate for the idea I have and then will usually decide if I’m going to tone the canvas or do some type of underpainting or drawing. Then I start and let it unfold, again trusting the process, trusting that I will find my way even if that way doesn’t end up as a piece that has whatever merit I think it should have!

Preparing for a new show with new work has been both thrilling and daunting!. I find myself pivoting between the two emotions throughout the day! But then being an artist is not for the faint of heart. I does require moving towards oblivion every day. I requires heading into the unknown and doing it with gusto.

Here are some progress photos of the new floral paintings.

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